Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

iphone 3gs wont restore error 21

56042 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2010 2:03 PM by Natty27 RSS
1 2 Previous Next
itslindsay Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2010 3:09 PM

tonight I updated itunes to the latest version 9.2, then I check to see whether my actual iphone software needed to be updated. it said the new version available was the 4 one.

once it went to finish installing it said it couldn't be installed properly due to error 21. so after several times trying to get it to work I decided to restore.

but now it wont even restore cause the same error 21 keeps coming up. once I clicked restore it looks like its about to finish but then the error comes up then stops, now my phone is stuck with the itunes logo with the usb

cant get onto my phone at all and cant restore it dont know what to do, can someone help me out please or if anyone else had this problem could they advise me what they done


Message was edited by: itslindsay
Windows Vista
  • Lisa1973 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2010 10:31 PM (in response to itslindsay)
    Ive got the same problem and Im gutted as so lost without my phone.
    I updated everything, then it came up with error 21 I checked for solutions and it said restart computer which I did but still keep getting the same error it still wont even restore.

    I have Iphone 3gS

    Please help!!!!
    Damsel in distress LOL
  • AMYLOUISEoxo Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2010 8:27 AM (in response to itslindsay)
    I'm having the exact same problem with mine, tried to update to 4 and got error 21.
    I've looked all over and all methods won't work.
    Everythings up to date and I've done all the troubleshooting.
  • Leon26UK Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2010 11:57 AM (in response to itslindsay)
    Exactly same problem just happened today trying to update to 4.0

    Hm, not sure what to do now. Tried everything I've seen suggested about error 21s and nothing has sorted it. Guess I'll have to schedule a trip to the Apple Store.
    iMac, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • dricko Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2010 2:22 PM (in response to itslindsay)
    im in the same boat!
  • drullingmonkey Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2010 3:05 PM (in response to dricko)
    I've got exactly the same problem (error 21, won't restore), its really lame. Now I don't have my phone.

    Reinstalled iTunes, nothing. Did all the stuff suggested, nothing.

    Only plugged it in to have a look at the LP feature thing with the Chem Bros new album - now wasted a whole night and no phone, just cause I thought to update the OS.
    iPhone OS 3.1.2
  • HawaiianSTI Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2010 3:14 PM (in response to drullingmonkey)
    I haven't had any of the problems that you are experiencing... Let me know how it ends for you
    Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • drullingmonkey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2010 4:42 PM (in response to itslindsay)
    Got a solution, on Windows Vista with 3GS phone.

    I created a new user in the control panel, restarted, then logged in as the new user.

    I then opened iTunes, which installs for the new user and then connected the phone. It then went through the OS software update no problems.

    I stopped it at registering/setting up and switched back to my original user profile and it automatically restored from the back up.

    Hope this helps - amazing how lost you feel when your phone packs in :-/
    iPhone OS 3.1.2
  • Mon Stacey Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2010 5:07 AM (in response to drullingmonkey)

    thanks a million
  • dodge7 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2010 2:53 PM (in response to drullingmonkey)
    very very very much appreciated, i did exactly as you said after looking for 2 hours for ideas and trying numerous without success (GRRRHH!) stumbled on your reply after reading threads above as was about to log off and spotted yours,
    could not believe it, i logged into my daughters and set up i-tunes there and did as you said and it worked for me..... so thanks you very much!
    Windows Vista
  • tijen Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2010 4:33 AM (in response to drullingmonkey)
    Thank you so much for the tip drullingmonkey. It works on Windows XP too, you've saved me much grief!
    Windows XP
  • hb72 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 6, 2010 4:29 PM (in response to drullingmonkey)
    thanks so much, same deal on the mac, create a new userunder systems preferences and open itunes........ you have saved the day ( after I wasted all my evening), don't think I'll be trying that update again.
  • xpliiciit Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2010 4:17 AM (in response to itslindsay)
    THANK YOU SO MUCH I WAS STUCK IN LOOP FOR 2 HOURS. once i read your reply it worked BUT i didnt connect and restore i left it there and started New but thank you !!!!
    IPHONE 3gs, Other OS
  • Monktech Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 13, 2010 3:45 PM (in response to drullingmonkey)
    My friend, you are a legend!! Had my 3GS lock up after the 4.02 update. Was, after 3 hours, ready to pack it up and return it but after one final web search i found your golden nugget of advice and it worked a treat!!!

    Thank you!!
    iOS 4
1 2 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.